On July 31, 2013, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in locating a missing 16 year female. The juvenile was reported missing June 30, 2013, from a foster home and was believed to be living with her boyfriend, northwest of Defuniak Springs. Through investigative techniques information led to the identification of the juvenile’s boyfriend. More information was collected with the assistance of a Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence Analyst, who found information that a patrol deputy had made contact with the boyfriend at a previous date and was accompanied by an unidentified female fitting the description of the missing juvenile. The investigator was successful in locating the missing juvenile at the location listed by the patrol deputy. The missing juvenile was in good health and did not appear to be harmed. She was transported and custody was transferred to protective services.
On July 31, 2013, deputies with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Davis Drive in DeFuniak Springs. The driver, Ronnie D Wilson Jr, 37, of Glendale, FL was arrested when deputies located methamphetamine in his vehicle.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics investigators responded to the scene and learned that Wilson was manufacturing methamphetamine in a camper located at 62 Magnolia Street. The information obtained gave investigators probable cause and a search warrant was issued. During a search of the residence, investigators located items used in the “Shake and Bake” method of manufacturing methamphetamines. Investigators also located methamphetamine, digital scales and paraphernalia used to ingest methamphetamines.
Ronnie Wilson was charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine (3rd Degree Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine (3rd Degree Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor). Wilson was booked at the Walton County Jail.
Deputy Dustin Cosson and Belinda Farmer has been chosen as the Walton County Sheriff’s Office sworn and non-sworn employees of the quarter for 2013. The announcement was made during an awards ceremony held this afternoon.
Deputy Dustin Cosson is currently assigned to the POP Squad. He is also a member of the SWAT Team and is a CrossFit trainer. On a daily basis, he develops as well as instructs CrossFit workouts for members of the Sheriff’s Office. Due to his hard work, dedication and encouragement, Deputy Cosson has helped a number of his co-workers improve their physical and emotional health. Captain Chari Rivers stated “Deputy Cosson strives to be the best he can be in every single assignment that he receives. Deputy Cosson takes pride in helping his co-workers and serving the citizens of Walton County.”
Belinda Farmer is a Lead Communications Officer and 911 Coordinator. While balancing both jobs extremely well, she is quick to jump in and handle any situation that may arise in dispatch. Famer is seen as a fair and effective leader and constantly provides her fellow communications officers the skills they need to do their jobs effectively. She is admired among her peers and as one stated “Belinda’s innate positive attitude and obvious fairness to her crew members have gained her our trust and renewed our teams’ es’prite de corps.”
At an awards ceremony that took place today at the Sheriff’s Office, Justin Cassidy was given a certificate of accommodation for risking his own life to save a fellow citizen, Stephen E Ruder.
On May 27, 2013, Ruder was traveling south on Clyde B. Wells Bridge when he lost control of his 2009 Nissan pickup truck and dropped 60 feet into the Choctawhatcee Bay landing upside down. Cassidy just happened to be fishing on the south side of the bridge and ran towards the wreckage, dove into the water and made his way to the driver side door which was jammed. The cab of the truck was completely immersed in the water but Cassidy was able to get the door open and pull Ruder to safety.
Ruder did receive injuries but is forever grateful to Cassidy for his heroic actions in saving his life.
On July 30, 2013, The Walton County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office about marijuana growing in northeast Walton County. The marijuana plants were by spotted by aerial view and the location was provided to our agency. Upon notification, Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit and K-9 Unit located 60 marijuana plants growing in a heavily wooded area near the Holmes County line. The plants varied in size from approximately three feet to seven feet tall. The marijuana was pulled and transported to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office where it was turned in to evidence to be destroyed. At this time there are no known suspects.